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Caltrans Proposes Plan for "Vegetative Advertisements" along the Freeways

What would you think if you saw a Fed Ex logo made out of tulips as you were motoring along one of California's freeways? How about the Golden Arches made from yellow roses or buttercups along the shoulder of the road?

It turns out that putting "vegetative advertising" - a logo or advertisement made out of flowers, shrubs and other plants - along California's freeways is Caltrans latest plan to raise funds towards the financially strapped highway fund.

The LA Times blogged today that the head of Caltrans Will Kempton has written to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation “about ways to squeeze more money out of California's freeways." One of his brilliant ideas is to allow corporations that pay for freeway landscaping to plant vegetation “in the form of commercial insignias.”

A federal waiver of rules regarding commercial uses on freeways is needed first, the Times reported. Apparently, the concept is under consideration and has not yet been given the green light by the feds.

Last year, a similar plan floated but died in the halls of Congress.

The Schwarzenegger administration is also considering advertisements on freeway signs used for Amber Alerts and other emergencies.

The advertisements would be posted on 674 electronic roadside message boards. The proposal would be up for bid and the winner would replace the state's old emergency message signs with new flashy video screens that would show advertisements when it wasn't posting Amber Alerts.


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